MSG Facts vs. Fiction Explained in Recent News Reports

MSG glutamate umami facts.jpg

Science Friday, a nonprofit organization and trusted source for news about science, reports that there is no basis for claims that MSG may cause allergies. And a new study finds that umami flavor in the form of MSG promotes feelings of fullness, helping to satisfy appetite and potentially help with...

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New Video and Infographic Explain Why MSG is Perfectly Safe


According to the American Chemical Society (ACS), monosodium glutamate (MSG) has suffered from inaccurate consumer perceptions for too long - so the non-profit organization has decided to put the consumer myths about MSG to rest. In a new video released in August 2014, ACS corrects the myths about ...

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Glutamate Is Natural

Glutamate Is Natural

Glutamate is common throughout nature. It is a component of your body and your foods. The taste-imparting property of glutamate has long been used around the world to enhance the palatability of foods.

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MSG Safe Use

MSG Safe Use

Over one hundred years ago, Professor Kikunae Ikeda of Tokyo Imperial University discovered the taste that is now recognized internationally as “umami.” It has been established for more than 10 years now that umami, which is the taste imparted by monosodium glutamate (MSG), stands alongside sweet, sour, salty and bitter as one of the five recognized basic tastes.

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MSG is Useful in a Reduced Sodium Diet

reduce sodium eat less salt.jpgCurrent scientific research shows that sodium consumption (primarily in the form of salt) continues to exceed public health recommendations, both in developed and developing countries. Food manufacturers, health professionals, and sodium-conscious consumers are looking for innovative ways to reduce the sodium content in foods and in the diet.

Sodium reduction initiatives continue to be developed and implemented across the globe, as international public health agencies and governments strive to reduce the consumption of dietary sodium. Health experts worldwide agree that consuming too much sodium increases a person's risk for high blood pressure, a serious health condition that is avoidable and is the leading cause of heart disease and stroke. Although specific recommendations and actual sodium intakes vary slightly from country to country, excessive sodium intake is prevalent worldwide.

According to the Institute of Medicine (Sodium Intake in Populations: Assessment of Evidence, 2013), despite efforts over the past several decades to reduce dietary intake of sodium, a main component of table salt, the average American adult still consumes 3,400 mg or more of sodium a day - equivalent to about 1½ teaspoons of salt. The current Dietary Guidelines for Americans urge most people ages 14 to 50 to limit their sodium intake to 2,300 mg daily.

In the United Kingdom, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition recommends an intake level of 2,400 milligrams per day.

According to Wikipedia, "the habitual salt intake in many Western countries is about 10 g per day, and it is higher than that in many countries in Eastern Europe and Asia. The high level of sodium in many processed foods has a major impact on the total amount consumed." The current World Health Organization recommendation for adults is to reduce sodium intake to less than 2,000 milligrams of sodium (which is equivalent to 5 grams of salt) per day. Specific intake recommendations have also been made by individual countries.

MSG Enhances the Flavor of Low Sodium Recipes and Meals

Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the sodium salt of glutamic acid (glutamate), an amino acid which occurs naturally in protein-containing foods such as meat, vegetables and dairy products. Since its discovery over 100 years ago, monosodium glutamate has been used effectively to enhance the umami taste in food. It is also an effective means of reducing the levels of salt used in food preparation. Studies have demonstrated that people find food with low levels of salt much more acceptable when a small amount of monosodium glutamate is added.

MSG is mistakenly thought of as being high in sodium. However, MSG contains only one-third the amount of sodium as table salt (MSG contains approximately 12 percent sodium while table salt contains 39 percent sodium). Since MSG still contains some sodium, it can be used as an ingredient to lower sodium, but not as a salt substitute necessarily.

Consumers are finding MSG to have additional benefits in their diet, and ultimately for their health, by using this safe and effective flavor enhancer to reduce their consumption of sodium. MSG is often an important ingredient for people on a low-sodium diet, because it improves the flavor of a dish while reducing the need for salt. In fact, when MSG is added (increasing the level of glutamate) to meals and recipes, sodium levels can be lowered by up to 40 percent while maintaining the desired flavor.

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